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Corporate Social Responsibility at Mer

We spoke to several Mer employees to see how they used their ‘corporate social responsibility’ days in 2023.

Corporate Social Responsibility at Mer

Sustainability is the foundation of Mer.  

Our commitment to minimising our impact on the environment extends beyond supporting the electric vehicle (EV) revolution, however. In 2023, Mer employees were allocated two days to dedicate to ‘corporate social responsibility’. 

We caught up with Louise Gillingham, HR Manager at Mer UK, who shared the meaning behind our CSR days and what they can be used for. ‘With sustainability being one of Mer’s core principles, we are committed to giving our employees the opportunity to making an impact with a volunteering, sustainability or charity project. We therefore implemented an initiative to offer our employees two days per year, known as ‘CSR days’. CSR days can be used for projects that are unique to individuals or for team volunteering days.’ 

Employees can use their days for activities such as fundraising charity walks, volunteering at a local foodbank, or supporting a community hub or charity. 

In this 2023 CSR wrap up blog, we share: 

  • How some of our employees used their CSR days this year and what projects they got involved with 
  • Mer’s charity fundraising efforts for Willow Burn Hospice 

 

Team Volunteering

Pawz for Thought

Haley Mitchinson, Sales Support Coordinator, Katie Pearsall, Business and Project Coordinator, and Lauren Evers, Project Manager, volunteered for Pawz for Thought, an animal charity operating in the Northeast of England. 

Speaking about their time with the charity, Hailey said, ‘The day consisted of cleaning out the hedgehogs, weighing the hedgehogs and making sure they are healthy weight, feeding and watering them, and even giving the baby milk! We really enjoyed the time with the hedgehogs, as we wouldn’t ever have the chance to do this if we hadn’t volunteered. I felt like they all needed our help, and we should be doing more to save the animals.’ 

Lauren agreed it was a ‘great day and an eye opener of the number of hedgehogs struggling due to the destruction of their habitat and machinery use.’ 

 

4 Louis

Several members of the Mer team volunteered with 4Louis, a UK charity that works across the country to support anyone affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and the death of a baby or child. It also works to improve the care bereaved families receive from health care and other professionals.  

Sara Banks, Head of Legal, Compliance and Data Protection, shared her experience volunteering with 4 Louis. ‘On my day in the warehouse, we began by being given an insight into why the charity was set up, what it does, and how it continues to offer support, e.g. now producing packs to support siblings. I then spent the rest of the morning making mattresses for premature babies’ coffins and in the afternoon, building Memory boxes for bereaved families. These were filled with such practical and thoughtful things, such as certificates of life for babies who pass away too early to have official death certificates. It is so important for parents to have confirmation that their baby did exist. 

 ‘It was an incredibly moving day and I felt I was able to make a positive contribution. I know the memory boxes are used by the midwives in the baby unit where my daughter is an Obs and Gyny doctor and are much appreciated. I wish I had had the opportunity to be given something similar when my daughter passed away. 

‘On my second day we assisted building a sand sculpture on the beach, to raise awareness of the charity and to enable bereaved parents supported by the charity to add their children’s names to the sculpture.’ 

 

Wrap Up London

HandsOn London are a volunteering charity specialising in engaging individuals in volunteering programmes. A group from the Mer team supported HandsOn London’s annual ‘Wrap Up London’, campaign which aims to provide coats that go directly to people across the UK who struggle to keep warm during the winter months. 

Bhavish Ruparelia, Business Analytics Manager, explained what the volunteering consisted of. ‘We sorted through the donations of coats and checked for quality and suitability, before sorting them by size. We then bagged the coats up and prepared them for charities to come and pick them up.’ 

Katarina Taylor, Proposition Co-ordinator, added ‘The sheer volume of coats that had been donated was so large that they filled entire rooms at the storage facility we were working at. It was inspiring to see, especially as the temperature had just dropped. We put together orders for charities, shelters, and refugee camps both in the UK and abroad which specified certain numbers of men’s, women’s, and children’s coats. It was rewarding to see that some of the orders we pulled together were collected the following day to be passed on to their new owners. While we only made a small dent into the donations, it felt like we were playing a part in contributing to helping vulnerable people stay warm this winter. And it was fun and festive too!’ 

Daniel May, Operations Support Executive, agreed: ‘The day was fantastic and very rewarding. We were able to work together and sort through a lot of coat donations and help organise them into more manageable groups. The WrapUp staff were on hand to help and guide us throughout the process from start to finish and by the end of the day you certainly feel a sense of accomplishment. I will definitely visit again!’ 

Isabelle Osborne, Campaign Manager, concluded ‘It was a privilege to take part in Wrap Up London and play a small role in a much bigger and impactful campaign that truly makes a difference to those in need. It was also heartwarming to learn about how the campaign has grown and developed since its inception 12 years ago, and how this year it expanded into Berlin; such is testament to the amazing work of HandsOn staff and volunteers over the years, and the importance of the ethos behind the campaign.’ 

Charity Fundraising

This year, Mer has raised over £3,000 for charity, one of them being Willow Burn Hospice. The Hospice treasures the lives of people whose illnesses are no longer curable and enables them to achieve the best quality of life. Members of our team took part in several fundraising events, including: 

  • Charity football fundraiser, 
  • Supporting at the hospice in setting up for Christmas, 
  • Working on stalls in local supermarkets supporting the Hospice’s Tree of Remembrance, 
  • Clarty Bairns fundraising.  

CSR mer

Rachel Todd, Head of Fundraising and Marketing at Willow Burn Hospice, said ‘Working with Mer this year has been an incredible experience and a real boost to the hospice, not only in terms of income but the support they have provided to our teams. Through fundraising, MER has funded 24 hours of care in our in-patient wing and over the year the team has painted our Potting Shed Gift Shed, helped us prepare for Christmas and represented the hospice at our Trees of Remembrance at ASDA Stanley. They have become an extension of our team and everyone we met has been friendly, willing and profession. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.’ 

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